Coenzyme Q10 boosts performance and protects the heart

Selenium and CoQ10 may increase longevity

This report is a follow-up two years after the end of a 10-year study published earlier. The initial trial followed 443 Swedish men and women, aged 78 to 85 at the start, who took 200 mg of CoQ10 plus 200 mcg of selenium per day for the first four years. Doctors also followed a similar group of 222 individuals who did not take supplements.

After 12 years, chances of having died from a heart or circulatory event were 41 percent lower for the CoQ10-selenium group compared to the non-supplement group.

Discussing the findings, doctors said the results at 12 years validate the findings at 10 years; that even eight years after stopping supplementing, people who had taken CoQ10 and selenium were much less likely to have died from heart and circulatory factors.



CoQ10 may help with chronic migraine

Doctors don’t know if migraine develops from problems in blood vessels, brain nerve cells, or both, but all agree the condition is inflammatory.  Unlike a regular occasional headache, when blood vessels constrict to cause pain, in chronic migraine, blood vessels dilate too much. In this study, 45 non-menopausal women, aged 18 to 50 with episodic migraine took a placebo or 400 mg of CoQ10 per day while using standard migraine medication as needed. After three months, compared to placebo, those taking CoQ10 reported significantly fewer migraines, with less severe pain and other symptoms.

In those taking CoQ10, doctors also observed a decrease in two inflammatory factors—calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP—which dilates peripheral and cerebral blood vessels and likely plays a key role in developing migraine; and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa), which can stimulate CGRP. Doctors said CoQ10 has anti-inflammatory properties that may provide the migraine benefit. 



Reduced-form of CoQ10 boosted elite athlete performance 

Coenzyme Q10, an essential energy fuel, occurs in all cells in the body. In this study, 100 elite male and female athletes took 300 mg of Ubiquinol (reduced form of CoQ10) per day, or a placebo, during a six-week training period prior to participating in the 2012 London Olympics. After six weeks, using a cycling ergometer, researchers measured power output and found both groups increased in power but, compared to placebo, the CoQ10 group gained 2.5 percent more power output capacity.

Doctors said CoQ10 appeared to increase short term, high-intensity performance ability, perhaps by increasing energy capacity at the cellular level and that, although these results were found in elite athletes, older athletes and “weekend warriors” may benefit from CoQ10 as well.


Critically ill patients likely to be deficient in CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is present in every cell in the body and helps produce energy. Diseases and drugs, especially statins, reduce stores of CoQ10, and CoQ10 may also decline with age. Doctors wanted to see if those who are critically ill would be deficient in CoQ10, and in this study compared 36 critically ill people in intensive care to 18 healthy people. None were taking statins.

Compared to the healthy participants, those who were critically ill had much lower CoQ10 levels, with the lowest levels in the eldest of these. Critical illness means a life-threatening situation that requires continuous monitoring. Doctors found that all the critically ill, regardless of the cause, were deficient in CoQ10 and, after discharge saw that CoQ10 levels were lower in those who reported the most difficulty with daily living activities.


Coenzyme Q10 improves heart function after failure 

In heart failure, the heart muscle weakens and doesn’t pump enough blood to serve the body. Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that occurs naturally in nearly every cell in the body and helps convert food into cellular energy. Doctors said CoQ10 may help improve blood flow in heart failure but several earlier studies were inconclusive. Here, researchers reviewed 13 placebo-controlled trials involving 395 participants with heart failure. Dosages in the studies ranged from 60 mg to 300 mg of CoQ10 per day and lasted from two to 24 weeks.

Combining results from all the studies, doctors found that CoQ10 increased by 3.7 percent the volume of blood flowing through the large heart chamber to the body. Doctors concluded that, in heart failure, CoQ10 moderately improves the ability of the heart to pump blood.

CoQ10 lowers chances for heart problems

Coenzyme Q10 occurs naturally in the body and is a lipid-protecting antioxidant. In heart disease, many people take statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels, but statins reduce the body’s production of CoQ10. Doctors said high oxidative stress levels and chronic inflammation contribute to heart disease.

In this study, 42 people with a blockage in at least half of one major artery who were taking statins for at least one month took a placebo or 300 mg of CoQ10 per day. After 12 weeks, while there were no changes for placebo, levels of three of the most important antioxidant enzymes had increased significantly in the CoQ10 group, and two signs of inflammation had decreased. Both groups had started the study with low CoQ10 levels, and in the CoQ10 group, levels increased by a factor of five times within four weeks. There were no side effects and doctors concluded that for those with heart disease, CoQ10 is safe and may be an effective treatment for decreasing inflammation and protecting lipids when taking statins.


Higher CoQ10 and vitamin B6 levels may reduce the chances of heart disease

Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps create energy at the cellular level. The body can produce some CoQ10, but it needs vitamin B6 in order to do so. In this study, doctors compared 45 people with abnormal narrowing of one major heart artery to 89 healthy people. Those with heart disease had nearly half the level of circulating CoQ10 compared to healthy volunteers, and 25 percent lower levels of circulating vitamin B6.

In discussing their findings, doctors said that those who were most likely to have healthy hearts had CoQ10 levels of at least 516 nanomoles per liter of blood (nmol/L) or vitamin B6 levels of at least 59.7 nmol/L.  This was not an “intervention” study, meaning doctors did not give participants any supplements to take but instead observed the levels of CoQ10 and vitamin B6 already in the body. Doctors now suggest more study to help determine the exact benefits of giving CoQ10 and vitamin B6 supplements to those who are healthy and those with heart disease, and to determine the most beneficial dose of these natural nutrients.


CoQ10 and omega-3s lowers prostate PSA levels

Doctors wanted to test the ability of coenzyme Q10, omega-6, and omega-3s to alter prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) levels in healthy men with normal PSA levels, which can rise when the prostate is inflamed, enlarged, or cancerous. In the study, researchers divided 504 healthy men with PSA levels at or below 2.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood into four groups. The men took a placebo, 400 mg of CoQ10 per day, 2,400 mg of the omega-6 GLA per day, or 4,480 mg of EPA plus 2,880 mg of DHA (omega-3s) per day, in divided doses.

After 12 weeks, while there was no change for placebo, and a 15 percent increase in PSA levels in the omega-6 GLA group, those who took omega-3s saw a 30 percent reduction in PSA levels, and those who took CoQ10 had 33 percent lower PSA levels.

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